London bronze puts Rio demons to rest

Derek Rae in action at last Sunday's London Marathon.
Derek Rae in action at last Sunday's London Marathon.
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Derek Rae says he exorcised the ghosts of Rio after claiming a bronze medal for Team GB at the London Marathon on Sunday.

The Kirkcaldy runner finished third in the T45/46 class at the World Para Athletics Marathon Cup after setting a brilliant personal best of 2 hours 33 minutes 24 seconds, smashing his previous PB by over four minutes.

He was delighted with his run after the disappointment of a non-finish at last year’s Paralympic Games in Brazil due to heat exhaustion.

“After Rio, I had some wrongs to put right,” he said. “I had some demons to put to bed, and I’ve done that now.

“I’ve always been a driven and motivated person but after what happened in Rio I had a point to prove to myself and I did that on Sunday, which was exceptionally pleasing.

“I knew I was in good shape on the start line. I had a really good build-up to the marathon so I knew a fast time was on the cards.

“I ran the race on my own which made it more difficult, but to come away with a quite a big PB and to finish in the medals was a really good result for me.”

Derek, who is coached by Ron Morrison in St Andrews, worked hard in preparation for London including training stints in Kenya and Tenerife.

It resulted in his best marathon performance to date against the world’s leading runners in his class, but he believes there is more to come.

“If we can keep going forward as we are at the minute, then I still think there is quicker there,” he said.

“We just need to keep working hard and doing what we’re doing. To run that time and know yourself there’s quicker to come is a good position to be in.”

The two athletes who finished ahead of him were Alex Pires Da Silva (Brazil) 2:28:20 and Abelhadi El Harti from Morocco 2:29:38.

Derek’s long term aim is to gain selection for Team GB for his second Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.

Derek is a member of both Fife AC and Disability Sport Fife.